What Sales Really Thinks About Marketing?

Does Sales really care about leads? Maybe not.

If you ask Bill Binch, VP of Sales from demand generation software provider Marketo, he prefers pipeline and bookings to leads. Ironically, as much as lead nurturing and lead scoring can help generate pipeline and revenue, by framing the discussion around leads too many marketers ignore the equally valid perspective of their sales counterparts. This can lead to diminished success for many marketing-led efforts around lead management.

This is just one of the many disconnects between sales and marketing that we’ve been exploring in the series Sales is from Mars, Marketing is from Venus. This is my 3rd such podcast with Marketo in this area. First we started with a CEO’s perspective then we did a VP of Marketing perspective and now we have the VP of Sales perspective. Getting the Sales viewpoint is critical for marketers since lead management initiatives always require buy-in and support from Sales to be successful.

Special thanks to my friends at Marketo for allowing me to interview their VP of sales for this podcast. They use what they sell to create opportunities for themselves, so there is no better place to look for ideas on how to optimize your own demand generation efforts than by talking with the guys who sell and deliver that for a living. I always learn something I can incorporate into my lead nurturing platform every time I talk with them! I hope you learn something too…

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About Bill

Bill brings 16 years of best practice sales, leadership, and operations experience to his role leading all of Marketo’s sales and customer success activities. Prior to joining Marketo, Binch was VP and General Manager, Distribution, at AVOLENT, where he managed the team focused on the distribution market, small & medium businesses, and install base customers. Prior to AVOLENT, Binch developed his sales and operational experience at Oracle, PeopleSoft, and BEA Systems, where he built and managed direct, inside, and channel organizations and ran business units ranging from mid-market business customers to strategic accounts. Bill graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Marketing.

5 comments to What Sales Really Thinks About Marketing?

  • John Gillett

    Excellent point — the most successful marketing and sales teams are almost connected at the hip…Sales brings experience form the field, and marketing turns that experience into a campaign.

    Without continual input from sales, marketing efforts have one one-hand toed behind their back…

  • EH

    One way to incorporate both sales and marketing is to create a blueprint of your marketing strategy. This allows you to map out each step of the marketing and who is involved in what. When both sides see that they are working towards the same goal, it will help them collaborate better.

  • Tom Lewis

    The term “pipeline” is meaningless to me as a marketer. I can understand if there’s an issue with the quality of leads sent to sales but supply is the critical issue. If sales needs more tools to convert, then by all means, that’s a subject to talk about but conversion is why the sales team is there – they’re not there just to take orders.

  • Mike Ashworth

    The disconnected Company, you see it so often. Various functions such as Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, sometimes with Goals that conflict with each other (such as minimise amount of time spent talking with ppl who have a complaint)

    I think Joseph Jaffe in his book “Join the conversation” wrote that what a Company needs is a layer called “conversation” that straddles all functions and ensures that they are all working efficiently.

    Companies ignore Customer Service / Complaints at their peril. If I’m looking for a new supplier of a product or service I often call or email customer service or complaints department first to see what “after sales” is like. That is a good judge of what they really think of me as a customer.

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  • Insidesales

    Great Post! It really is important to get your sales team thinking like your marketing team and vice versa. Department transitions can be difficult in the lead nurturing process.

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